Jackie Robinson is famous for breaking the color barrier in Major League Baseball in 1947. Robinson is well recognized throughout baseball every year on April 15 when every player on every team wears his jersey number 42. The number 42 is retired throughout all of Major League Baseball in Robinson's honor. Other black athletes in other major sports often thank Jackie as well every year, this is a way of showing his or her respect for him. Robinsons’ sports cards are highly sought after especially high-grade examples, since he only played 10 years in the MLB from 1947-1956 there a only a few cards that are available of him and they a beginning to become tougher to find each year. Here is my "Top 10 list" of best Jackie Robinson sports cards.
1 - 1948 Leaf Jackie Robinson Rookie #79
Jackie Robinson’s most popular card is his Leaf rookie card from 1948. The card has a great vintage look to it and captures a great close up image of Robinson. His rookie card will continually go up in value because he will always be remembered in baseball history for breaking the color barrier and becoming the first black player to play in the MLB. Since this is regarded as his first MLB rookie card it is easily one of his most sought after cards. This card is a great piece of history for any buyer or collector to invest in and will always have great long-term value. They are becoming tougher to find every year especially ones that are well centered and in high-grade condition.
2 - 1947 Bond Bread Jackie Robinson
There is some uncertainty of when other rarer Jackie Robinson Bond Bread cards actually released but however there is some clarity on when a 13 card set of Robinson was made exclusively consisting of just him. The set released in 1947 and consisted of 13 types of cards of Robinson. The most sought card of the set is the still portrait image of Robinson featured with his facsimile autograph on the card. The significance of these cards are they were released the same year that Jackie broke baseball’s color barrier and made his actual MLB debut on April 15, 1947. There is still an unknown certainty about these cards but they easily can be considered some of Robinson’s first cards that were ever produced. These cards will continually become tougher to find and they are very under-valued. I would project these to gain more popularity and increase in value, especially the facsimile autographed card of Robinson featured in this set.
3 - 1948 Swell Sport Thrills Jackie Robinson #3
This card is another rare early example of Jackie Robinson commemorating his historic MLB debut the previous year in 1947. His Swell Sport Thrills card shows a vintage black and white image of Robinson featured in a newspaper designed theme. The top of the card reads, “Highlight in the World of Sport,” and the bottom reads “Dramatic Debut.” This card is becoming tougher to find and is a must have for any Jackie Robinson collector. This card is still very obtainable for many buyers or collectors and is a great piece of history because it headlines Robinson’s historic achievement that he accomplished the previous year.
4 - 1949 Bowman Jackie Robinson #50
This card is regarded as Jackie Robinson’s first Bowman card. Some collectors considered it a rookie card because it is undetermined if his Leaf card was actually released in 1948 or 1949. His first Bowman card is highly sought after especially graded examples from PSA, SGC and BGS. Being so that this is Robinson’s first Bowman card is what makes this card so highly in demand. The card really stands out with the bright red and Robinson wearing the famous Brooklyn Dodgers hat in the image. This card is one of the best and most popular cards of Robinson to own and will continually become tougher to find and more sought after.
5 - 1950 Bowman Jackie Robinson #22
Robinson’s 1950 Bowman card is an image that features a painting of him. The card is regarded as his second Bowman issued card and considered very popular and sought after. Well centered examples featured in high-grade are continually increasing in value. This card does still have upside to continue to go up in value because it is considered one of Robinsons first Bowman issued cards. This card would be a great addition to any Jackie Robinson collection.
6 - 1952 Topps Jackie Robinson #312
The significance of Robinson’s 1952 Topps card is this was his first Topps card that was produced of him and for that reason alone it is highly sought after. His 52 Topps card continues to increase in value, this card is more commonly known as a high number and short print. Regarded arguably as Robinsons best looking card of him that was ever created because it features a beautiful close up image of him with his vintage Brooklyn Dodgers hat. The 52 Topps design was one of the best designed cards ever made and this card is an iconic card of Robinson and a must have to own.
7 - 1953 Topps Jackie Robinson #1
Robinson’s 1953 Topps card is similar to his 52 Topps portrait and style border. His card in 53 is still very popular and one of the best cards from the original set. The card is number 1 of the set which is the only time Robinson was issued card number 1 in a major set during the era he played. This card is still very obtainable in many graded examples for collectors or buyers and will continue to have great long-term value because its only Robinsons 2nd ever issued Topps card.
8 -1954 Topps Jackie Robinson #10
His 1954 Topps card really stands out with a bright yellow and dual portrait of a still photo of Robinson and action shot shown on the card. This card is very tough to find centered which make high-grade examples very sought after. The image on this card is regarded as one of the most recognizable Robinson cards ever created.
9 - 1955 Topps Jackie Robinson #50
His 1955 Topps card is similar to his 54 Topps card featured with a dual portrait and action shot shown on the card. This version however is a horizontally themed card of Robinson which was the first of its kind. This card is still very obtainable in low-grade examples and is a good investment considering that it is one of his last Topps cards that were issued.
10 - 1956 Topps Jackie Robinson #30
Robinsons’ last Topps card that was issued when he was a player was his 1956 card. The card is very similar to his 1955 Topps and also horizontal, which shows a still close portrait of him and action shot of him sliding into a base. Also similar to his 1956 card, this card is very obtainable still for many collectors or buyers. I would assume that this will climb in value very soon because there may still be an uncertainty that this was Robinsons last issued Topps card when he was a player, and for that reason alone it will always have great long-term value.The card also features two variations of the back including a gray back and the more sought after white back. Robinson will always be remembered for historical achievement of breaking baseball’s color barrier and his impact on the game will be passed on from one generation to the next. Investing in his sports cards is one of the best and safest investments because his legacy will only continue to grow.